SIMON FRASER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SIMON FRASER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Acoustic neuroma. Coloured magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of a coronal (front) section through the head of a 51 year old woman. The brain is at upper centre (blue) and a 3-4 millimetre mass is visible at lower left in the internal auditory meatus (inner ear), seen as a black dot highlighted in red. It is most likely to represent a small acoustic neuroma (schwannoma). Acoustic neuromas are tumours of the auditory nerve of the ear, which may spread from the inner ear to the brain. They can be malignant or benign. In this case it has resulted in right sided deafness. Surgical removal is the only cure. MRI uses radio waves and a magnet to obtain "slice" body images.
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